How often have I said, “Now what?” in times when I’ve missed a connecting flight or the off-ramp for my exit or discovered that we’re out of an ingredient halfway through a recipe. And then there are more significant moments— the loss of a job, the death of a spouse, family member or close friend, an unexpected turn in the road of life—when we wonder, “Now what?”

Although we are living in a post-pandemic world, we recognize that the impact of COVID-19 is still with us. With continued outbreaks of variants of the virus, inflation, global economic and political turmoil, and lives that have been changed forever by COVID and its effects, many have thrown their hands in the air and asked, “Now what?” 

The closest followers of Jesus might well have asked “Now what?” as they watched Jesus die on a cross, as a stone sealed the borrowed tomb, as word came from Mary that the tomb was empty. But as we read the accounts of the Gospel writers, including Luke’s record in the Book of Acts, we find the answers to their “Now what?” moments—answers that can shape our thinking and guide our response today. 

Now watch! According to Scripture, Jesus appeared to his followers 10 times after his Resurrection. At the empty tomb, on the road to Emmaus and in gatherings he let them see him with their own eyes. When they were uncertain about what was next, he let them watch him fulfil his promise to rise from the dead. No doubt, with each appearance of Jesus, the word spread among his disciples, and they began to watch fervently for Jesus to show up. When life is uncertain, the God who is certain shows up, still at work, still faithful to his promises. Watch for his faithfulness to his promises in your life. 

Now share! In John’s first letter, he writes, “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3). John was a witness to the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of Jesus. He lived through the biggest “Now what?” moments of any follower of Jesus, and then saw the risen Christ, broke bread with him and watched him ascend into heaven. And what did he do? He shared what he saw and experienced so that others could know and believe. Peter reminds us to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). If ever people needed to know where to find hope it’s now. The Salvation Army has been defined as a people who are “Giving Hope Today.” Now is the time to proclaim what we have seen and heard, that others might believe in Jesus, the source of hope. 

Now wait! In one of Jesus’ post-Resurrection encounters with his disciples, he shared instructions that would guide them in the “Now what?” moment after his Ascension. “Do notleave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about … the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4-6). How we hate to wait. We live in a culture of instant gratification. But their instructions are to wait. Waiting is not necessarily a passive approach to life. Advent, the four weeks before Christmas, is a time of waiting. It is a time of preparation. As we wait, we prepare for what God has in mind to do.

Now pray! In the days following his Ascension to the Father, the disciples gathered to pray. While they were together at Pentecost, the promised Holy Spirit came upon them. The Spirit filled and equipped them for what God would do in and through them as they took the message of the gospel from Jerusalem, to Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Sometimes it takes a “Now what?” moment to bring God’s people to their knees in prayer. Is this not the time that God is calling us to unite in prayer, praying for a fresh wind of his Spirit to move across his Army, inspiring us for mission?

As Christ-centred, others-focused followers of Jesus, we know what to do in the “Now what?” moments. Now let’s watch, share, wait and pray!

Commissioner Floyd TiddCommissioner Floyd Tidd is the territorial commander of the Canada and Bermuda Territory.

llustration: Halfpoint/

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On Friday, March 31, 2023, Leslie Westwood said:

Really interesting and thought provoking, thank you

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